Last year, my twin boys graduated from preschool. A wonderful start to their life of learning. I knew they weren’t ready for full-time Kindergarten that fall. They really wanted to go to Kindergarten, but I knew their little wiggly 5-year-old feet wouldn’t stay still for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
The summer was coming close to an end and I still wasn’t sure what to do about their education nearing 1 month away. One last effort to look for a program for them, I stumbled on a little preschool in our neighborhood (IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!) that had a new Jr. Kindergarten-type-of-program.
After checking out the school, my husband and I knew this would be a perfect fit for them. I immediately enrolled them…thinking that this year would be the year to “catch up” and 1st grade would follow the next year.
Around December, we realized 1st grade was going to be too much and they would benefit from a full-time Kindergarten after this year.
I’m not sure if it was pride or what, but I couldn’t accept the fact of them needing to repeat Kindergarten. I immediately took ownership of them “being behind” or “not being ahead.” The weight of the decision to “hold them back a year” was very heavy on my heart.
I began filling myself with regret and failure as their mom. “It’s all my fault, I should’ve read to them more as preschoolers….if I wasn’t so busy doing ______, I could’ve spent more time working with them on their writing….It’s all my fault they aren’t ready for the grade they are supposed to be in.”
Why do we do this as moms? We take on so much guilt that we have failed our children in some way, when in reality the problem isn’t even a problem…they just aren’t developmentally there. Or they aren’t ready for that next step. I can’t be alone in this feeling….
Why do we put the world’s bar of what’s acceptable….the “standards,” the “normal”…on us? When we or our kids don’t measure up to the world’s measuring stick, the immediate feeling of failure floods our minds.
Each of our children is a precious creation, molded and shaped uniquely by God. If my wiggly boys aren’t ready to sit and write a paragraph about turtles, or what they did over the summer… IT’S NOT MY FAULT. I have done the very best that I can in loving them and providing opportunities for them to learn and grow. They just need some extra time on some certain skills, but I don’t need to take that on myself as a failure.
So, here’s what I propose fellow moms: we love our children the very best we know how.
Our job is to raise them, teach them, and love them. They will learn to add, subtract, write a persuasive paragraph, how to spell, or even how to burp the alphabet (on one of my boys “to-learn list.” *sigh*)…..but the love of a mom, or parent, is the security that will carry through their entire childhood.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will never depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Following the path,
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